How Do International Joint Ventures Build Legitimacy Effectively in Emerging Economies? CSR, Political Ties, or Both?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387–412
Journal / PublicationManagement International Review
Issue number3
Online published13 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


Legitimacy has been identified as an important factor influencing the survival of international joint ventures (IJVs). Yet empirical studies exploring IJV strategies for gaining post-formation legitimacy are scarce. This study examines how IJVs accumulate legitimacy after their formation in China. We identify two non-market strategies, namely corporate social responsibility (CSR) and political ties, and compare their effects on gaining two types of legitimacy: political legitimacy and market legitimacy. Data obtained from senior and middle IJV managers in China lends empirical support for the direct effects of CSR and political ties on IJV legitimacy-building. Surprisingly, we find that CSR has a stronger effect on gaining both political and market legitimacy than political ties. Furthermore, both political and market legitimacy contribute to IJVs’ performance.

Research Area(s)

  • Corporate social responsibility, Market legitimacy, Political legitimacy, Political ties